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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 17/03/2022 14:55:29

Title of Module: Lifespan Development A

Code: PSYC08009 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Dr Amanda  Simpson

Summary of Module

This is a core second year module for Social Work students and is a partner to the second trimester module Lifespan Development B. Together these modules look at the development of the individual across the lifespan from conception until death, examining the different issues that individuals face at different stages in development. Lifespan Development A focuses on development in childhood, from conception through infancy to early and then late childhood. Key principles and issues in development, such as the roles of nature/nurture in determining characteristics/behaviours, individual differences in development, typical/atypical development and development as stage-like or continuous, are addressed throughout. A range of theoretical perspectives in studying development including learning theory, ethological theory, Piaget’s theory, Vygotsky’s theory and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory are introduced.

Different domains of development are covered including prenatal development, the development of infant abilities, language acquisition, play and parental styles. There is a strong emphasis on social and emotional development, and we examine attachment theory in-depth, including the impact of abuse, loss and separation. Students are encouraged to develop a coherent and integrated understanding of factors influencing development, considering gender and cultural differences where relevant and to be aware of inter-relationships between individuals at different stages in the lifespan. There is a strong emphasis on understanding the differences between typical and atypical development and consideration of risk and protective factors in development.

At the end of the module, student will have developed the following graduate attributes

collaborative, research minded, socially responsible, and an effective communicator 

  • Developmental concepts, issues, theories and methods

  • Attachment

  • Nature-Nurture debate

  • Parenting styles

  • Personality and emotional development

  • The development of language

  • Children and play

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts, theories and methods in childhood development.

L2. Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge of development to tackling real world issues with children.

L3. Demonstrate the ability to systematically apply multiple perspectives to developmental issues.

L4. Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively on a developmental issue relevant to social work practice.

L5. Show an awareness of individual differences in and cultural influences on child development.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key concepts and principles of development.

Demonstrate an understanding of developmental stages.

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different perspectives on child development.

Demonstrate an awareness of methodological aspects of developmental research.

Demonstrate an understanding of typical and atypical development.

Demonstrate a knowledge of factors leading to optimal developmental outcomes and those leading to sub-optimal developmental outcomes.

Demonstrate an awareness of inter-relationships between individuals at different points in their lifespan.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply developmental theory and approaches to understanding real life issues.

Demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of developmental research to social work practice.

Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of ethical issues in carrying out research with and working with children.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Interpret and critically evaluate research on child development.

Reflect upon connections between developmental theory and social work practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Communicate knowledge of developmental issues to a range of different audiences through written and verbal expression.

Interpret research evidence presented in journal papers on developmental issues use electronic information and retrieval systems to access relevant material.

Do a power-point presentation on an aspect of atypical development in childhood.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Display a high level of self-management and motivation in carrying out learning tasks and activities.

Take on different roles in working in a group to prepare and give a presentation.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Completion of L7 of the social work programme
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered using a hybrid approach in which students are encouraged to engage with the module through three learning activities, presented both synchronously and asynchronously. Students will be encouraged to engage asynchronously with pre-recorded lecture content designed to provide students with an overview of the topic area. Pre-recorded lecture material will be complimented with a series of asynchronous and synchronous activities to be undertaken in the student's own time or by the students/instructor simultaneously as appropriate.

Lectures will introduce theoretical concepts, issues and perspectives as well as empirical research in development. During the seminars students will take part in a range of practical and reflective activities, following up practical applications or examples of material presented in lectures. For example students will interpret and critically evaluate research papers (e.g. in the field of parenting styles), examine how developmental constructs are assessed or measured (e. g. children’s attachments), reflect on ethical issues in developmental research (e. g. prenatal screening) and observe case studies of children with developmental problems (e.g. difficulties in language acquisition).

During the seminars and workshops students will be required to give presentations where they will follow up on the basic ideas presented in lectures, looking at implications of theory and research presented in lectures for social work practice. For example students will look at the relevance of attachment theory to social work practice and consider children with atypical development.
Students will be given guided reading via the Virtual/Social learning environment to prepare for the module activities but will also be required to follow up ideas for themselves, including searching for new information.

Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop0
Asynchronous Class Activity12
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan. (7th ed.). Hoboken: Pearson Education.

Bukatko, D., & Daehler, M.W. (2012). Child development: a thematic approach. (6th ed.), UK: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Boyd, D. and Bee, H. (2014). The Developing Child (13th ed.). Harlow : Pearson Education [E-book].

Gillibrand, R., Lam, V., & O’Donnell, V. L. (2016). Developmental Psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. [E-book].

Sigelman, C. K. & Rider, E.A. (2015). Life-span human development (8th ed). Stamford: CENGAGE Learning [E-book].

Journals: Child Development; British Journal of Developmental Psychology; European Journal of Developmental Psychology; Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Developmental Psychology.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All full-time students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study.? Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Psychology
ModeratorDr Nicola McGuigan
External ExaminerTBC
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Presentation 50%
Multiple choice test 50%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check mark check mark check mark500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck mark check mark 500
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.